- Mar 31, 2013
The Ben Davies block looked CRAZY live but it was the last kick of the game and they never showed a replay.I didn't get to watch closely but I think Marseille is a good side, and Conte does have a bit of bend don't break (or as they say in the futbol world, we had to "suffer") to him. There was a piece I read this morning somewhere (CBS?) that basically said to everyone calling for a better passer in the MF, Conte DGAF about passing, those guys are primarily screeners for the D. So while there was space in Spurs' half of the field, I think the first half xG for OM was like 0.12? Spurs only mustered 0.24 or something like that, but I think there was some rope a dope involved and Spurs do look the part of a side that doesn't mind relying on some Perisic and Co. crossing for Kane, Richy, and others to head in.
A few other thoughts about the match. Bardi from the Extra Inch is a Hoj hater, and I among many others give him a lot of shit for it. Well, Hoj had the interception and pass to Kane before sending Son that led to the red card, and then he assisted Richy's second. Hoj is a rock in there and we're lucky to have him. Ben10 misplaced a few passes but I think was otherwise fine.
I thought the substitutions today were notable and very telling for the future. First, when Spurs need to chase a match, I think we can expect the front 3 of Son-Kane-Richy PLUS Deki at RWB to be the go-to move. Deki's so good, but also so versatile. He doesn't look fast at first glance, but he's not slow and he has long strides and endurance. Lenglet looks really good at LCB and his passing is superior to Davies'. I love me some Ben D and I think they'll both play a lot, but Lenglet offers a lot. Davies almost gifted away a goal at the end, but I think he dove head first and stopped the shot with his head. Does anyone have a video of this?!?? I don't know a single Spurs fan who isn't rooting hard for Japh to stick. So nice to see him come on for a recovering Romero and get some big game minutes. Really nice to see Doherty back in action as well. Finally, I feel like the Sess-Perisic balance at LWB will be heavily opponent-dependent. If the opponent is expected to sit deep, Perisic is going to be more valuable with his superior crossing. If the opponent is playing a higher line, then Sess' speed and ability to get in behind will be more valuable. Sess is obviously younger, fitter, and stronger, and likely a better defender, so if Conte wants to be more stout then Sess will play. The only issue I see with Sess in the XI is that it seems to render Son a bit less effective because Sess takes up some of the positions and spaces Son likes for himself. That's a good problem that can be sorted out though with Sess underlapping more, and figuring out how to attack the half spaces better.
Sporting beat Frankfurt 3-0, but this game was tight and tied 0-0 until an hour. Both sides had good chances, and Sporting in particular was very loose and error-prone in the back but kept getting bailed out by the keeper and last ditch defending. They did press well though. And they have quality up top.